Peter Max (American/German, b.1937) is a famed illustrator and graphic artist who specializes in Pop Art and Neo Expressionism ,and is known for his generous use of vibrant colors. Max was born in Berlin, Germany, but his family relocated to Nazi Germany. Then they settled in Shanghai, China, where they lived for 10 years. Afterward, they moved to Haifa, Israel. They stayed there for a few years and then spent a few months in Paris, France. It was in Paris where Max learned to appreciate art. In fact, he took art classes at the Louvre museum while his family lived there. In 1953, his family moved to the United States and settled in Bensonhurst, a neighborhood located in Brooklyn, NY. In 1956, Max began his first formal art training at the Art Students League of New York under the tutelage of Frank J. Reilly (American, 1906–1967). He went on to study at the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY.
In 1962, Max, along with Tom Daly, started a small art studio in New York City. Don Rubbo (American, b.1926) eventually joined The Daly & Max Studio, and the three worked together to create advertising images. Max’s popularity grew when he created the advertising campaign un-cola for 7-Up in 1968. In 1970, the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, CA, opened its exhibit The World of Peter Max, which featured various products and posters that Max had designed. In 1976, he began his Statue of Liberty series to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the United States.
Max has painted for six USpresidents and has artworks on display in various US embassies. In 1993, he painted his famous 100 Clintons installation. Max has also been the official artist for numerous major events, such as the Grammy Awards, the 1994 World Cup, and the Super Bowl. His painting 44 Obamas, which depicted Barrack Obama as the 44th president of the United States, debuted on The Early Show. Max currently lives and works in New York City.